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General News Wed, 27 Nov 2019

Probe 'fraudulent' $8.7m Metro Mass Transit buses – Group petitions Amidu

Crusaders Against Corruption (CAC) Ghana, an anti-graft organisation has submitted a petition to the Special Prosecutor, Mr Martin Amidu, to investigate the purchase of some 50 buses for the Metro Mass Transit Company Limited (MMT).

“Sir, in the interest of protecting the public purse and to avert any form of corruption that this transaction may bring, Crusaders Against Corruption Ghana humbly request your office to further investigate the above subject matter,” the petition signed by Chief Crusader Emmanuel Wilson Jnr. stated.

According to the group, they were copied in a letter by a former Security Coordinator of the MMT, Mr Lawal Laah Fuseini, addressed to the Board Chairman of the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB), over a short-term loan of $2,100.000 to MMT which was to be used as down payment for the purchase of the buses.

Mr Fuseini had also petitioned the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to investigate what he described as corruption and misappropriation of funds. He argued that the contract was awarded on 6 November 2017 by Chief of Staff Frema Osei Opare and the Ministry of Transport, through GH-Daewoo Motors Ghana Limited, for the procurement of the buses at a cost of $ 8,750, 000.00.

Mr Fuseini said judging from the total cost, it implies that “one unit of the bus costs the country CIF US $175, 000.00 but a check with the company revealed massive fraud”.

The petitioner explained that the same model of buses on the website of the company “cost only FOB $75,000 as of 2019”.

In his opinion, “When you deduct the sum total of the actual cost given by the Chinese company of CIF US$ 3,750, 000.00 from the cost quoted by the government of Ghana of CIF US$ 8,750,000.00 in the said contract document, an excess of US $5,000, 000.000 is unaccounted for in this fraudulent contract.”

Mr Fuseini cited the Chief of Staff, Transport Minister Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, Deputy Transport Minister Nii Kwartei Titus-Glover, the Managing Director of Metro Mass Transit Limited Albert Adu Boahen and the CEO of GH-Daewoo Motors Ghana Limited, Mr Isaac Ofori Poku, as the officials involved in the transaction.

Following the receipt of the letter, CAC said it conducted preliminary investigations which showed that: “Due process was not fully followed by Mr Albert Adu Boahen (MD) and the MMT in the process that resulted in the final decision on the above subject”.

Additionally, CAC said it has discovered “conflicting technical reports from MMT, on the yet-to-be-purchased LHA buses and CAC can warn that the implementation of this contract will not provide value-for-money to the taxpayer and will be a waste of Ghana’s taxes”.

Furthermore, CAC is of the view that: “The tendering process that was engaged in by Mr Albert Adu Boahen (MD) and the MMT, is contrary to the provisions of Articles 40 and 41 of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 662)”.

CAC is, therefore, requesting a thorough probe by Mr Amidu with recommendations and sanctions for individuals found culpable in the breach of any rules regarding the transaction.

Source: classfmonline.com
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